Ministry in Holland

February 17, 2009

Doing some reading and learning today as I refocus our vision for ministry here in the Netherlands I ran across a post at called “From Christendom to Post-Christendom” that I thought really describes our situation here in Holland.  For those of you still living in the States, take it as a preview of things to come (if Europe is in any way serves as a harbinger of things to come for you):

Seven significant ecclesiological shifts from Christendom to post-Christendom:

From the centre to margins: in Christendom the Christian story and the churches were central, but in post-Christendom these are marginal.

From majority to minority: in Christendom Christians comprised the (often overwhelming) majority, but in post-Christendom we are a minority.

From settlers to sojourners: in Christendom Christians felt at home in a culture shaped by their story, but in post-Christendom we are aliens, exiles and pilgrims in a culture where we no longer feel at home.

From privilege to plurality: in Christendom Christians enjoyed many privileges, but in post-Christendom we are one community among many in a plural society.

From control to witness: in Christendom churches could exert control over society, but in post-Christendom we exercise influence only through witnessing to our story and its implications.

From maintenance to mission: in Christendom the emphasis was on maintaining a supposedly Christian status quo, but in post-Christendom it is on mission within a contested environment.

From institution to movement: in Christendom churches operated mainly in institutional mode, but in post-Christendom we must become again a Christian movement.


One Response to “Ministry in Holland”

  1. brad brisco Says:

    Joey, glad you found the post helpful. I too believe these shifts are not as “complete” in the states as they are in Europe. The difficult aspect in the states is that in many, if not most cases, the church is not aware of the shift that is taking place. Blessings on your efforts in the Netherlands!

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